Dated: March 25, 2014

I am leaving Charleston West. I am going to Mannington, West Virginia. It is in the North. I leave tomorrow. I am excited. It is sad to leave the West Side, but I am ready to move to a new adventure.

This week has been a week of moving furniture again. We helped a lady in the first ward named Lisa (Deanie and Bruce know her) get some new beds to her house. Well she was getting rid of her old beds, and there is a potential investigator named Jessica that we talked to a few days previous that said she was looking for anyone throwing away beds. She needed some. So we took the new beds to Lisa's house, picked up her old beds and took them to Jessica. Well, she only needed one of them and had a friend that needed the rest. So we took the rest of the beds to her friends house and invited the people to learn about the gospel. They said they would. It was fun doing so much service that day. Then, yesterday, there were some people who needed a piano moved. So we got Elder Stout, Elder Fehlberg, Elder Ramirez and I and the 4 of us moved the piano. (It was so super heavy!) Luckily none of us got hurt.  So we have been hauling that trailer around quite a bit this week. It has been fun.

My new companion is named Elder Robbins. I don’t know anything about him, but I am excited.

Don’t have too much to say in this email. I am in Jacob 4 in the Book of Mormon. I hope you are all reading that special and sacred book. Like I always like to tell people "It will change your life."

Love you all!


Elder Josh!

Moving furniture.  I am so glad I have Dad's backing skills!


Dated:  3/17/14

This week was definitely interesting. Elder Ramirez and I were given an assignment to go and gather up some furniture from some people that wanted to donate to the mission. So we drove and picked up some couches in South Charleston and then we went up to Mink Shoals (not too far away) and pick up some book shelves and other things. Then we dropped it all off at the storage shed for the mission.

Karen really blessed us this week. She took us to two really awesome restaurants. She took us to Lone Star Steakhouse and then also to Red Lobster. She also took Jarome (our 12 year old investigator) and bought him some church clothes. She is so great. She is a great missionary already. She is going to the temple on Saturday to do Baptisms for Her mom and some of her other relatives. She is excited. We also talked to her this week about Patriarchal blessings. She is so super excited to get one of those. Karen is really a huge blessing to know. I love her so much!

Just a thought: Protestant religions don't believe in or read the Book of Mormon, and they suffer for it. Anyone who chooses not to read the Book of Mormon suffers for it. We, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe it to be Holy Scripture and it has changed our lives for eternity. We have the privilege to feast upon its words every day. We are always trying to get people to read that sacred book, and when they don't, they are missing out on the blessings of eternal life. They are missing out on a more personal relationship with the Savior and the knowledge of who He is and who our Heavenly Father is. Just think, The Book of Mormon really hasn't been in any other dispensation, ever. The Children of Israel didn't have it, Adam didn't have it, and to my knowledge no one really had it in the fullness until Moroni sealed it up and Joseph Smith translated it. We live in the Last dispensation with some of the worst things this world has ever known. God knew that this would be a very hard and trying time. He knew that we would need tools to combat the evil around us. He prepared, probably one of the most powerful books of scripture ever for us. Now, the Book of Mormon is flooding the earth. WOW! We are reading it as a mission before the end of June. I started this last week and I am not in 2 Nephi 9. I am marking in blue every time it references something to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Words like Faith, Repent, Baptismal, Covenant, Commandment, Holy Ghost, and Endure to End, and Broken Heart, Contrite Spirit. It is so far full of blue. When I am done I will see how much this book talks about the Doctrine of Christ. I have already gone through and marked every reference to Christ in red. It is really neat. It is powerful. It is true. I know it is. Lets all read from that powerful book. The blessings are priceless.

Well, there is my discourse for the week. Love you all. Stay safe!


Elder JOSH!


Dated:  March 10, 2014

What a week. We had Zone meeting. We played some "olympic games" where we split up into districts. We took the "faster stronger higher" theme and we did a scripture chase (my district dominated at that) and then we did a tower build. We Built the towers out of Pamphlets. And then we all stood in a circle (with our district) and we each had to hold out a hymn book in each hand, with arms extended, and see who could go the longest. We did it as districts and if someone went down in the district your whole team was out. Overall we took the Silver Medal. It was fun, but I have had a cramp in my back ever since. But it is getting better.

We had a drunk guy sing "Amazing Grace" to us on the street. We were walking along and we saw a middle age couple trying to get a couch into their house. We stopped and helped them. The couch was big. Also, the guy had a stroke in 2010 and so he had limited use of his right arm. We figured it would be good to take off the door and try to get it in. They were surprised how easy it is to get a door off (thanks for teaching me that Dad) and we tried to get the couch in. Well, we got it stuck in the frame. So after much exertion of strength, we got it unstuck. We couldn't get it in the door. They really appreciated our help anyway, and then we were able to teach them about the restoration quickly and get a return appointment. It was great.

It has been warming up here which is awesome! It is supposed to be 70 today!

Elder Ramirez and I were listening to a talk this week given by Richard G. Scott. It was a conference talk of pretty much just quoting scriptures. That all it was. It was powerful. It really made me realize the power of scriptures. I read this morning in Mosiah 28:19 where it is talking about the Jaredite plates and Mosiah Translating them. It says, "And this account shall be written hereafter; for behold, it is expedient that all people should know the things which are written in this account."  So from that I took that the Jaredite plates are very, very important and ALL people should know what is written upon them. Then I went and read the chapter headings of Ether to see what all it talked about. I encourage you to do the same, and then maybe read each chapter. It is powerful. From the Brother of Jared seeing Christ, to the wars and then the really special account of faith in Ether 12. The scriptures teach us true doctrine simply. If we read them everyday we will get far. What you think, see, hear, and do determines what you become. So lets see what the scriptures say, ponder them, and then listen for the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and we will be "[Told] all things that [we] should do. (2 Ne 33:3)"

I love you all. Thanks for your support, letters, friendship, and righteousness. Keep the Faith!


Elder JOSH!

Nightly planning after a hard day's work.
(I hope you know this was posed and not really how we plan at night,
but we were beat that day.) 


Dated:  March 3, 2014

I am really not sure what to say about this week. We worked hard. We found potentials, we talked to people, taught our investigators, we found new investigators.

I’ll share some neat experiences. So, we were walking around trying to ITL (Invite to Learn) people on the street. We were walking a way we haven’t walked before, and we had a thought that we should knock on this duplex (and no not a "every fiber of my being overwhelming thought. This really helped me learn that promptings do come in a very, very, very still small voice). So we knock on the one door, no answer. We knock on the one next to it, and a guy comes to the door. Elder Ramirez tells the guy who we are. At first, his demeanor seemed like it wasn't interested, but Elder Ramirez asked the guy if we could come in for 10 minutes and share a message. The guy said "sure." So we got in a door (which isn't too common around here) and we taught the guy a quick Restoration lesson. We set up a return appointment. It was neat.

Also, the other day, a member had us go find a less-active member. He gave us the address. It was the wrong address, but we decided to 2x2x2 (knock 2 doors on the left, right and across the street). No one was interested, but then we saw a lady down the road a little bit. She looked older so I said "lets hit her with Family History!" So we walk up to her and started talking to her about family history, and she has done TONS of it. She is wanting someone to take it over for when she passes away. So we gave her the address to the church, and the times when the history center is open, and gave her a flyer to a Family History Fair that is going on. She was super excited. We started talking to her about her family and her beliefs. She has very similar beliefs to what is taught in the Book of Mormon. So I asked her if she had ever read a copy of it. She said her dad had one when she was younger, and she was reading it and loving it, but her dad took it away from her so he could read it. So we gave her another copy. We also learned she wants to quit smoking, so we are going to go over and do a Stop Smoking workshop with her. It's neat to know that the Lord will place us in the path of those who will listen, and those who need to talk to us.

Well that, I would say, was the highlights of the week.

I love you all. Keep up the good work!


Elder Josh!

Sent from my iPad

haha, Just kidding....


Dated:  February 24, 2014

This was a fun week. We have had sunny weather for the most part! We had Zone Conference this week which was just fantastic! I always love those meetings. We talked about a lot of things that our mission is doing to become. We are a Becoming Mission. We are seeking to be about a Zion mission, and that is what we are working to become.

Karen is doing great. She had us over for dinner a couple of times. We made Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with her. YUM! We also had her come to a lesson with us to a new investigator that we found. She bore powerful testimony to her. Karen also brought another investigator to church with her. His name is Jerome. He is 12 years old. We have been trying to contact his aunt for a while now. There are 3 sisters that all live in this house, and they all have kids. One of them is Jerome's mom. He asked us when we were there on Saturday if he could come to church with us. His mom said he could, so we went and got Karen and introduced her to him. She picked him up the next day and he LOVED church. He was a little rowdy during the 2nd and 3rd hour, but he did good. Before Sacrament started, he went to each person in the chapel and introduced himself to them.  They all got a kick out of that. It really impressed all the people there. The ward loves him. Hopefully he will come back. When Karen took him back, she talked to his mom and invited her to church. She said she would come next week.

Other than that we walked around the West Side a bunch and handed out cards and tried to talk to people this week. It feels good to be a missionary.

This morning I was studying prayer, and something took me to the first vision. I learned some things about the power of prayer through studying it. I’ll share it with you.

We know the importance of ASK, SEEK, KNOCK. We must first have a question, and we then must ponder. Then we go to God. We see this in Joseph Smiths account:

JSH 1: 11  ...I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

 12 Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.

 13 At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.

He had a question, he pondered, studied, sought for the truth, and he found out what he needed to do. He gained wisdom, and that wisdom was in a sense, God can give me more wisdom so I can know what to do if I but ask Him. He acted. Lets see the wisdom he gained from his prayer.

I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, (We know that God is the Light of the world. Other words for light is Spirit, and Truth. The Glory of God is Intelligence and intelligence is Light and Truth.)
 which descended gradually until it fell upon me. (We don't gain understanding or knowledge all at once. It comes gradually.)
 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. (We know that light dispels dankness, truth helps us stay away from evil. The more truth we know, the more we are able to stay away from the traps and snares of the adversary)
When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages,  whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. (Joseph Smith came to know who our Heavenly Father is  and who Jesus Christ is. As we pray, we come to know them too. We see how much they play a role in our lives. We start to understand who we are and who they are.)
 One of them spake unto me, calling me by name (Joseph Smith learned from this that God knows him personally, and that he does speak to men in this day and age. The HEAVENS ARE OPEN! God Knows each of us personally and as we seek his guidance and help, he can speak to us though the Holy Ghost)
and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. (We learn how God feels about his Son, Jesus Christ, and we can know that when we follow Jesus Christ, He feels the same way about us)
 Hear Him! (Christ is calling each of us to come unto him. Are we listening? That is the same invitation that we, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are declaring. HEAR HIM!) P.S. Also notice the exclamation point.

That is just something I thought I would share with all of you. I don't know why, but it is something that has helped me understand the power of Prayer. Joseph Smith learned about more than what he was seeking. "Sometimes we ask for a slice of bread and he gives us a loaf" -Sister Crapo. Joseph Smith received more wisdom, so he could know how to act. In our life, we have choices to make. Our agency gives us the ability to choose how to act. We need to gain wisdom so that we can act correctly. We will be judged by our actions and the desires of our hearts. So as we gain wisdom we will be able to make correct choices. We gain wisdom from studying the scriptures, praying, and keeping the commandments, and as we act on the wisdom we receive, we will receive more.

Anyway, that is enough from me. I love you all. Keep up the good things you are doing. ALWAYS PRAY!!! Ask, Seek, Knock and it shall be GIVEN you. :D
Love you all!


Elder Josh!

P.S.  This is my Hump Week. One year baby! I am so glad I still have a full year. I have so much to learn and work on. Love you all! Keep it up!